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Some people wake up with a hangover and no money. The morning after my last midterm (and post-midterm celebrating), I bounced out of bed to find temp job paperwork in the "sent" folder. I'm okay with this outcome.

In better news, I won a raffle for a Farm Fresh box while sober. Free organic food is great, but I don't recognize everything that came in the box. Are the stalk thing at the bottom of this picture leeks? Sauteeing is my default in the face of unfamiliar veggies. Is oil + heat a good option for putative leeks?

10 pounds of leafy greens?!
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Last week I started working for a car-share program in San Francisco. It's nice to know I'm slowing down the savings hemorrhage, and the employee discount on vehicle use is a major perk, but being physically instead of mentally exhausted by 7 PM is a significant change in how things are done.

SF Pride parade, with bonus annotated Mayor On Parade snapshot. )

I think I made a friend! We're hanging out tonight! I've been terrified that I'd get out here and discover all of my friend-making skills have atrophied, but apparently I have a few left.

Lilith Fair will be at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 5th. I'm tempted to nab a couple of $10 tickets, reserve a car (see "perks of working for carshare program") and fill up the car. Locals, anyone in? Lilith Fair trip canceled on account of missing the window for $10 tickets. Whoops!
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A quick collage of my morning. Note chocolate for breakfast.

The Ferry Terminal Farmer's Market, San Francisco


I deeply regret being too shocked to snap a picture of the nude cyclists on Market later in the day.
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In 480x640 under the cut )

Today I went to Ocean Beach (see first picture) and people were setting up fires and parties on the beach. I'm torn by the intrinsically awesome combination of beach fire and the logical consequences of fire plus ocean winds. Peanut butter in my chocolate, or mint in my orange?

I promise more beach pictures: a significant moving incentive was learning I could get to the beach on public transit in less than an hour. Going by my "don't spend more time in transit than at the destination / activity" rule of thumb, this works out to significant beach time.
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Almost none of this tea was bought by me.

For my 2,000th LJ post, I bring you the residual tea stash left by successive waves of roommates. So far my favorites are the Thai black (magic ingredient: star anise) and the Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger (noncaffeinated for great late night tea-drinking). Best of all, if I cultivate a green tea habit, I feel I will need to buy additional tea for some time.
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Or, what happens when I am out of work four days running: I get creative in the kitchen.

Recipe under the cut. )

Notes: this was an attempt to combine a bland recipe with rice with a spiced version of lentil soup. If I were going to do this again, I would either reduce the amount of rice and lentils, or I would try doubling the spices (except the garlic and chile de arbol - the chile was doubled, oh my dripping nose) and using more sausage. Also, the picture isn't great. Next time I must remember to remove the soup to an attractive bowl before trying to get a snapshot.

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Brought these to B'more this weekend and got a request for the recipe. Here it is!


From allrecipies.com with small modifications, most significantly the addition of allspice.

Okay, here it is behind the cut. )

I like these because they're basically soft sugar cookies with tons of spices. It's easy and relatively painless to clean up after (unlike any recipe that starts, "melt the chocolate"), but if I'm bringing these to an event with a crowd I'd probably double the recipe.
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I finally got some vacation photos edited and uploaded this weekend. Cross-posted to facebook, which means, help us all, my dad may show up in flickr comments.
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Tonight I had brownies and soy milk instead of dinner. If you'd had my day you might have done the same.

Also, they were delicious, gooey brownies make from scratch. M. - not an unbiased audience - was appreciative.

Delicious pictures behind cut. )
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The central dogma - DNA is transcribed into RNA is translated into protein, this is the flow of information in a cell and that is what will be on the test - is a convenient lie told in high school and freshman biology to simplify the complex:

It's diagram time! )

In biochem 3 the prof drew the central dogma on the board and proceeded to break it. I don't have the full diagram any more, but I think there was more stuff on it. I'm not going through my entire notebook reconstructing it, but I'm kind of tempted, because it was pretty cool.

I'm way behind my f-list, and may not catch up tonight, or before this weekend, but know that's it's in a good cause: I have vacuumed my room and retyped my class notes. Trip pictures and summary to follow sometime this weekend, maybe? I hear there's a thing on the mall I may want to attend. The very short version: I had a great time, did museum time and outside time, got slightly sunburned twice, saw my sister, and accidentally drove up Russian Hill in the dark. I had an adventure! Now I'm locked into adventures with genetics until the end of the semester.
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On further consideration, I like about half of one album of Jordin Sparks. Also, I didn't realize she sang "Tattoo", which I loathe nearly as much as "Teardrops on my Guitar". I am not in high school, and I was a cynic when I was.

Today's adventures: thunderstorms, rainbows, biking to the library on damp streets, picking up holds, getting drenched in the second line of storms, and getting called in for roommate whatever nearly before I got the bike back in the house. I'm not sure if M wanted a wingman for her drive to Border's, or if she sincerely thought putting more books in my path was a favor, but at least I got to wash the road spatter off before we drove to Border's. M. walked out with a journal, and I walked out with The Best Science Writing of 2007, discounted to $4, which pretty much encapsulates the roommate vibe.

Rainbow pictures are pretty similar, but have today's rainbow. )

Biking was absolutely the right thing to do; I may need to get back on the library exercise program (put book on hold, bike to library for pickup) to make myself do it more often.
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In a nearly unprecedented display of faith in humanity, I went to see fireworks with bio!J, her friend D, and D's roommate J, and crashed at D and J's afterward. (I hate changing my plans only slightly less than I hate imposing for crash space.) I am very pleased with my pictures of the fireworks, which came out very well considering I didn't have a tripod, and include some moments that are suitably Apocalypse Now. Sunday I drove home, napped, then got back out the door for the Nats-Braves game downtown and had the unusual pleasure of seeing the Nats not lose.

Yesterday I went to work and had the unique pleasure of being reminded that the annual safety video review is, in fact, annual and mandatory. For day two I intend to beg people to play hangman during choice moments of How Not To Die By Tripping Over Power Cords and Disrobing Your Coworkers After a Chemical Spill.

Locals, I appeal to your knowledge: I am supposed to make dinner plans for early next week with someone who's staying in Crystal City. What are the good restaurants in that area? Please keep in mind that it's possible neither of us will have a car, so anyone who suggests anything on the orange line will be mocked.
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Okay, it all makes sense now: Teardrops on My Guitar was written by Taylor Swift when she was seventeen. Love Story has no excuse. But the arrangement stands up in piano and cello mashup.

(It turns out I like my country a little bloodcurdling, like the Dixie Chick's Goodbye Earl and SHeDAISY's A Night to Remember.)

Also known to show up on my music playlists: Lonestar ("borrowed" from my sister several years ago), Big & Rich, LeeAnn Womack. It turns out I really like country-pop crossover.

I left my mp3 player at my desk when I broke for the door today, which is probably for the best, since I'd just load it with ridiculous quantities of guitar.

I went looking for a topically appropriate picture and found nothing. I need to go to more concerts. In the meantime, can I break for an ode to macro settings? I use mine to fake depth of field all the time when I'm taking small-scale pictures. Macro is my favorite setting on my camera. So have a pretty flowering plant of known species. If I just killed your bandwidth dead, tell me and I will stop posting 640x480 pics unless they're behind a cut.

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What M. did not say is that we were getting enough free sushi to feed three people. Neither of us wants to eat ever again.

Pictures! )

Pic Spam

Mar. 8th, 2009 05:45 pm
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I've only taken 400 pictures with my new camera! I've had it... okay, almost a month. But I must use my camera more!

According to reviews, the SX-110 is programmed to shoot a bit warm, but I am biased toward cooler casts - especially in winter - so I tend to use the "full sun" and tungsten white balance presets a lot. I'm also prone to shooting a bit dark, since I blithely assume I can recover details and brighten shots in Photoshop. Just about the only thing I leave to the camera is the focusing, because trying to manually focus a point and shoot doesn't seem worth the effort. Dad has agreed to let me borrow his camera "for a weekend" at some point, so I'm going to try to kidnap it sometime before May.

In the meantime, pictures.

Four for starters. )
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I went to New York City, and I had a great time, and I had a camera! In no particular order, I lost (and found) my day planner, forgot my PIN and found myself at Penn Station with about $0.06 and a credit card, discovered my cell phone recharger was 200 miles away on Sunday night, walked most of the way up Fifth Ave next to Central Park, criss-crossed Midtown, left Forbidden Planet unscathed, then visited the Strand; saw a tiny bit of the beautiful New York Humanity and Social Sciences library (the 5th Ave branch), completely failed to make it to any museums; did karaoke and Rock Band with [livejournal.com profile] limnrix and friends; caught up with [livejournal.com profile] scifantasy, and took a nap on the southbound bus before finishing my cheerful holiday reading. I owe [livejournal.com profile] limnrix and [livejournal.com profile] scifantasy huge thanks for rearranging their weekends to see me.

Four quick pictures from the camera's second outing. )
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Hypochondriac and prone to TMI, maybe, but probably not suffering from chemical imbalance.

How long does it take to eat a pound of strawberries? If you're me, about 18 hours from arrival in kitchen.

The week-long search for the DVD remote unearthed a missing chain and pendant that disappeared right after Thanksgiving. I'll be wearing it this weekend. For the record, midnight is not the time to suddenly wonder if hostels carry 1.) towels, 2.) bedsheets, and realize 3.) your overnight kit does not commonly include soap.

I offloaded my first batch of pics from the new camera, from Friday night's party, and - wait, what party? The party I thought was Saturday night, until I got home from work, and thought to check the address on the evite. I persevered in the face of tragedy, called a cab to meet me at the metro, called the hostess twice to get directions when the cab driver got lost, and got to the party, where I had a really great time, but the pictures that looked fine on a 3" LCD are unacceptably grainy on the laptop's 15.4" screen. So the ISO 800 and 1600 settings are right out except in times of crisis. (I guess I'm going to have to get past that flash hate. Way to destroy the sneaky party picture-taking.)

Also, my camera's movie mode has no audio. Since this is supposed to be my all-purpose camera, this is a big problem for parties. But hey, cheap camera today, expensive bells and whistles with flourishes camera in 2010.

I object to academic writing. Fine, your discipline has no useful vocabulary, so stop repeating the same words with different emphasis and invent some vocabulary. I encourage the lit-studying crowd to make like science and steal words from dead languages. If you have to, make portmanteaus and other mashups, though I will mock you in the margins. (Science has its own problems, like the linguistic path that gave us metabolome, or like when the syndrome and the gene and the protein are all named different things, and you wind up with equals-this tables on stickies peeling off the sides of your screen, but I digress.) I guess I fail at academic writing, because I am entertained to a certain point by interrogating the narrative, and then I say, "So, feminism, activism, other isms, but do you know what would be awesome? What if there was an accident with an alien device, and Johnnie Rico and the rest of his platoon grew wings?" and I'm back in popcorn-throwing mode.

(For the record, if Johnnie Rico grew wings, you be out of Starship Troopers aca-mode and into Gundam Wing fanfic. 'Tis a far, far better thing I do in anime fandom than I have ever done in the Western SF canon.)

Off to catch a bus, or try to. I will have my cell phone but no internet access until Monday night.
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My camera is here! I bought it Tuesday night, and it's here today. So far, I am thrilled by the point-click instant gratification but the auto and programmed modes are hideous. Eliminating three positions on the preset wheel in 20 minutes makes me wonder if I made a horrible mistake by cheaping out. On the other hand: cheaper camera + 2-year accidental protection warranty (will pay for itself the first time I crack the LCD) + rechargable AA batteries + 1 GB memory card + carrying case (the big ol' ten times zoom lens making the sx110 too fat for my old case) + storage space = quite enough money, thank you. So I will make nice with the sx110 and see what falls out of the $400-$600 (plus accessories) market.

However, it's electronics fail week. My external hard drive is dying fast. I didn't realize how much I'd moved to using it as primary storage until Windows "fixed" nine thousand invalid or cross-linked files. Copying all my precious detritus across USB 2.0 makes me completely understand the importance of eSATA and Firewire to the future. My super-cheap DVD player is missing its remote, which is unfortunate, since the player has no menu navigation buttons. My work headphones (RIP) are getting replaced tomorrow. And the baby laptop has its lot of special and unique snowflake history.

Now that I've gotten the book log out of the way, I feel I can make more frivolous posts again. For example: Trader Joe's has an Oreo lookalike, the Joe Joe, which incorporates candy canes in the filling. Those lasted about three days in my possession, and should've lasted a lot longer. Yum, junk food!

On a sadder note, I dropped community chorus. It meets the day before my class, I don't like how the director warms the chorus up (briefly, and then stops for half an hour of announcements), and I can't do two super-long days back-to-back. Not those two items, not in that order.

But the important thing is, I have a camera! And tomorrow I'm going to buy memory, so I can take more than seven pictures at a time.
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Dear beloved external hard drive (late April 2007 - about now),

When I named you after Rosalind Franklin, I had no idea what I was intimating for your lifespan. Please cough up my music mixes. Now.

Sadly, A.




Now that I have my bonus in hand, and have hit my minimum savings goals, it's hardware time. Since I can get a 1 TB external now for the same price I paid for 350 GB in 2007, the only question is: can my ancient desktop handle modern peripherals?

The other big hardware purchase is the camera. (Camera!) I'm looking at the Canon SX110is with a thoughtful eye. Angst by analysis follows for the photo junkies. )

If anyone has anything to say about the SX110, now would be a really good time to weigh in.

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